As evidence of the growing tug-of-war over service-industry workers, a new resort in Las Vegas -- an aggressive competitor for Orlando's tourism dollars -- swept into town June 8 and 9 to recruit locals to staff the next blockbuster attraction on the Vegas Strip. Darren Oliver, VP of human resources for the Paris Las Vegas Casino Resort, says research convinced them there were workers here ripe for the picking. Test ads run in February turned up nearly 80 respondents ready to put Florida in the rear-view mirror for a Vegas paycheck. (The only other city that's getting the in-person recruitment treatment is Phoenix.)
Orlando's army of service workers per capita is second only to Vegas'. "And we found that the rates of pay are significantly higher in Vegas," says Oliver, whose resort opens in September. "Some [pay rates] are 100 percent higher than Orlando." The company offered a free week's stay in the hotel to aid in relocation, and Oliver thinks he'll end up with about 45 workers from Orlando. Who wouldn't want to see the Eiffel Tower every day on their way to work? Apparently, a 50-story replica is good enough.